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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2020-368
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2020-368
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  29 Sep 2020

29 Sep 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

Reducing cloud contamination in AOD measurements

Verena Schenzinger1 and Axel Kreuter1,2 Verena Schenzinger and Axel Kreuter
  • 1Institute for Biomedical Physics, Medical University Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria
  • 2Luftblick OG, Innsbruck, Austria

Abstract. We propose a new cloud screening method for sun photometry that is designed to effectively filter thin clouds. Our method is based on a k-nearest neighbour algorithm instead of scanning timeseries of aerosol optical depth. Using ten years of data from a precision filter radiometer in Innsbruck, we compare our new method and the currently employed screening technique. We exemplify the performance of the two routines in different cloud conditions. While both algorithms agree on the classification of a datapoint as clear or cloudy in a majority of the cases, the new routine is found to be more effective in flagging thin clouds. We conclude that this simple method can serve as a valid alternative for cloud detection, and discuss the generalizability to other observation sites.

Verena Schenzinger and Axel Kreuter

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Verena Schenzinger and Axel Kreuter

Verena Schenzinger and Axel Kreuter

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Latest update: 28 Oct 2020
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Short summary
When measuring the aerosol optical depth of the atmosphere, clouds in front of the sun lead to erroneously high values. Therefore, measurements that are potentially affected by clouds need to be removed from the dataset by an automatic process. As the currently used algorithm cannot reliably identify thin clouds, we developed a new one based on a method borrowed from machine learning. Tests with 10 years of data show improved performance of the new routine and therefore higher data quality.
When measuring the aerosol optical depth of the atmosphere, clouds in front of the sun lead to...
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